The UK’s largest and arguably most controversial buy-to-let landlord who banned ‘coloured people’ from renting his properties because ‘they make them smell of curry’ is facing legal action.
Having already barred battered wives and plumbers from occupying his homes, Fergus Wilson, who runs a property empire in Kent alongside his wife Judith, caused further controversy in March by turning his attention to another innocent social group.
In an email to letting agent Evolution Properties, which set out requirements for potential tenants, the 69-year-old wrote: “No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”
Given that refusing to rent or let a property based on a prospective tenant’s race is unlawful, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has decided to apply for an injunction against the buy-to-let tycoon.
Wilson, of Boughton Monchelsea, was forced to call in the police last month because he was receiving a tirade of online abuse from internet trolls after he told the Sun newspaper: “To be honest, we’re getting overloaded with coloured people.
“It is a problem with certain types of coloured people — those who consume curry — it sticks to the carpet.
“You have to get some chemical thing that takes the smell out. In extreme cases you have to replace the carpet.”
Wilson, who was unsurprisingly criticised by the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, defended his letting policy on economic grounds.
But EHRC chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said it had applied for an injunction at Central London County Court.
She said: “We have asked the court if it agrees with us that Mr Wilson’s lettings policy contains unlawful criteria and, if so, to issue an injunction.”